THE ADVENTURES OF A THOUGHT
THE CHAIN REACTION OF A THOUGHT
THE DANGER OF EVIL SURMISING
A drama in two parts, involving Brother White and Brother Gray. What happened to start with: Brother Gray drives up to Brother White's home to take Brother White and his wife to testimony meeting. Brother Gray sees a woman ironing in the kitchen and he assumes it is Sister White. Brother White leaves for meeting without kissing the woman who is ironing. A THOUGHT COMES INTO BROTHER GRAY'S MIND--"Brother White is neglecting his wife by leaving her home to work at ironing while he goes to a religious meeting.” (Now we watch to see what happens after this thought flashes into Brother Gray's mind.)
With this thought in his mind, Brother Gray is hindered in his appreciation of Brother White's testimony.
At the next election Brother Gray votes against Brother White as an elder. The thought is having its effect.
Brother White returns home greatly concerned, as he has been a good elder and he cannot think of any reason why Brother Gray should suddenly vote against him for eldership. He decides, however, to leave the matter in the Lord's hands.
Brother White is so absorbed in his thoughts that he forgets to kiss his little daughter good night. Brother White’s little girl is named Susie.
Susie White is blue all the next day at school.
Brother Gray's little boy reports at the supper table that Susie White burst into tears at school; and that she gave the reason for her crying: "Daddy didn't kiss me good night last evening." Immediately another thought flashes into the mind of Brother Gray—“Brother White is unkind to his family; and this thought seemed to fit perfectly into the meaning of the first thought: Brother White was neglecting his wife.”
Another thought comes into the mind of Brother Gray—“I must do something about this." And so he decides to give a strong discourse on love in the home. Naturally this was aimed at Brother White, but he didn't say so directly.
Brother White was impressed with the good reasoning of Brother Gray's talk, and he goes up to Brother Gray and tells him how much he enjoyed the talk on love in the home.
Another thought flashes into the mind of Brother Gray--"Brother White is a hypocrite. He pretends to be in harmony with love in the home, but he is neglecting his family--I saw this with my own eyes.”
Brother White is an automobile dealer, and Brother Gray has been in the habit of referring prospective buyers to Brother White; but with the chain reaction of thoughts in the mind of Brother Gray, Brother Gray decides he will not refer any more prospects to Brother White. He thinks--"Brother White is not deserving."
Right at this particular time, Brother White's expenses are very heavy, his sales are rather poor, and the loss of this one sale makes it impossible for him to go to a convention. Usually the two families would go to convention together.
So another thought comes into the mind of Brother Gray--"Brother White is losing interest in the Truth, and does not care so much now for the fellowship of the Lord's people. It all ties in together--Brother White goes off to meeting while his wife has to stay home to do the ironing. Brother White is neglecting his family. Brother White is a hypocrite."
Now we come to a turning point and Brother Gray is put to a crucial test.
After the convention is over, there is a testimony meeting. Sister White has deep respect for her husband and tells of his love in the home--"Not long age he hired a neighbor lady to come in and do the ironing for me when I was not feeling well."
This is a terrific mental shock to Brother Gray--he remembers this very incident and he saw now how he had surmised evil--he thought that Brother White had left his wife to do the ironing while he went to a religious meeting. The truth was that Brother White had hired a lady to come in to do the ironing to relieve Sister White when she was not feeling well.
Brother Gray hears the voice of conscience--"make this right with Brother White. Confess that you made a terrible mistake, and apologize to Brother White for all your evil thoughts and actions."
But Brother Gray hears another voice--"what will Brother White and the brethren think of me? They will lose all respect for me. They may even want to vote against me for elder." This is the voice of selfishness--pride.
Brother Gray hesitates and decides to wait for awhile, and see what happens. Brother Gray is now in the furnace to be tried.
Next Sunday there is an election. Brother Gray votes for Brother White as an elder, and this salves his conscience. He thinks: "I have made everything right with Brother White now; it will not be necessary for me to humble myself and confess my fault. Brother White is back in good standing and I have preserved my own standing as an elder."
But this course means that Brother Gray has ignored the voice of conscience and the Word of God--the Word says that we should confess our faults, and before we bring our gift to the altar, we should be reconciled to our brother whom we have wronged. Brother Gray has seared his conscience and now he is in character trouble for sure.
Previously Brother Gray had been a good student of the Word and the Truth; but now his attitude has changed--he either shies away from or passes over lightly those principles which remind him of his delinquency toward Brother White. The effect is that certain features of Truth seem uninteresting or distasteful to him and thus he stills his conscience.
Shortly after this Brother Gray receives some literature, as all of the Lord’s people do at times. This particular literature is advocating Universalism. Brother Gray reads it and is attracted by the startling idea that everyone is going to be saved and live forever, even including Satan.
Brother Gray, in his present condition of mind, is fairly thrilled with the idea-- eventually everybody is going to live forever--no one is going to be judged as wicked and be destroyed. It is just a matter of time when everyone will be recovered from his sinfulness and live in eternal happiness!"
What is the appeal to Brother Gray? It is a way out! One does not need to be so particular about the voice of conscience!
Brother Gray is enthused and sends for literature for all the members of the ecclesia.
But the reaction was different than Brother Gray expected. The members of the ecclesia are all well balanced in the Truth and obedient to the voice of conscience, and active in God's service. And so the literature from Brother Gray is turned down flat!
And Brother Gray is asked to resign as an elder.
Brother Gray thinks: “The brethren are lacking in love for the wicked. They cannot see the depth of God's love." (Here is another chain reaction.)
Actually Brother Gray has become blind and cannot see the loyalty, of the brethren to the Truth, that “a11 the wicked will God destroy.”
Finally we find Brother Gray associating himself with the Universalism movement, active and zealous in the promotion of rank error.
The sad end of Brother Gray stemmed from evil surmising which led to more and more evil surmising; and he was not recovered because he listened to the voice of pride and refused to be humble and obey the voice of conscience.
Let us see now what could have happened if Brother Gray had not entertained an evil thought.
Initial Occurrence: Brother Gray drives up to Brother White's home to take him and his wife to testimony meeting. Brother Gray sees woman ironing in the kitchen but does not allow any evil thought or surmise to enter into his mind.
Brother Gray greets Brother White and makes inquiry about Sister White. Brother White says that he got a woman to come in to do the ironing as Sister White was not feeling so well.
Brother Gray feels a glow of special Christian love for Brother White as he realizes that Brother White has made special provision for Sister White's comfort when he left her to go to testimony meeting.
The testimony meeting is a rich blessing to all the brethren, and all go home feeling closer to one another and having a richer measure of the Holy Spirit.
Little Susie White receives her good night kiss from her loving Daddy and she goes to sleep with the happy thought that her Daddy's loving Heavenly Father was also her loving Heavenly Father.
Brother White receives a 100% vote as an elder as he is much appreciated for his Christian development, especially in his manifestation of love for his family.
Brother Gray gives a fine talk on "love in the home” and he has a wonderful example in Brother White's case. Brother Gray and Brother White have delightful fellowship together as they serve the Lord's people in the things of the spirit.
Brother Gray sends a prospective buyer of an automobile to Brother. White, and as a result of this sale Brother White has enough money to go to the convention.
Both families go to the convention together and the fellowship in the Lord is encouraging and all are in a happy state of mind when they at-tend the convention; and they all go home greatly profiting from the convention and their fellowship together.
Brother White has some money left over from his car sale and he puts an ad in the local newspaper. As a result a lady purchases the First Volume and in her conversation with Brother White, her mind is freed from the terrible doctrine of eternal torment.
This supplement shows what a contrast of experiences there are when evil surmising is resisted and good thoughts are entertained instead.
All the foregoing can be illustrated by what is known as a "compounding of negatives,” and a "compounding of positives." If we do evil things, there is a great train of evil that results. And if we do good things there is a great train of good that results.
If we start out with evil there is more and more of evil
If we start out with good there is more and more of good